In the final game of the regular season, the women’s water polo team finished strong with a commanding 20-5 victory over the California Institute of Technology.
Now that the regular season is finished, the Panthers will enter the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a final record of 9-18 overall and 4-4 in the conference.
“It’s definitely nice to end the regular season with a win,” said junior defender Emily Fong. “It gave us a chance to start focusing on our (conference) tournament a little earlier.”
The Panthers rebounded from Wednesday’s loss against first-placed Whittier College to put on a strong performance against last-place Caltech (3-18, 0-8).
The Panthers scored early in the game and continued their offensive attack throughout. The Panthers had scored 14 goals before Caltech was finally able to put one in the net. Despite Caltech’s best efforts, the Panthers shut down any attempt at a comeback and continued to add to their tally.
This win leaves the team with a positive point to enter the playoffs with after a partly tumultuous season, Fong said.
“This past season has had its ups and downs, but we’ve been able to overcome obstacles together,” she said. “With such a small number of people on the team, we’ve been able to grow a lot closer. I’d say that this season is proof that a team that works together can succeed.”
With the season done and their place in the conference secured, the Panthers are focusing on the post-season tournament.
“As we prepare for the post-season tournament, I think we just need to relax and play together,” Fong said. “We have a lot of talented players on the team and we do well when we work together. We’ve also had a lot of close games, so I think it’s about playing a good solid four quarters. If we have good, positive energy, I think we’ll do well.”
The post-season tournament will be held April 22-24.